Call for First Buses to divert X1 through villages

East Norfolk Transport Users Association meeting in Caister on Tuesday, April 26. Photo: George Ryan

East Norfolk Transport Users Association meeting in Caister on Tuesday, April 26. Photo: George Ryan - Credit: Archant

A petition is calling on First Bus to consider re-routing some of the X1 buses along the A1064 to Great Yarmouth, instead of using the Acle Straight.

Organisers say this could offer the villages of Billockby, Fleggburgh, Filby and Caister Ca route into Great Yarmouth or Norwich.

At a meeting of the East Norfolk Transport Users Association (ENTUA) in Caister Community Hall on Tuesday, Judith Brown, 56, who lives in Thrigby Road, Filby, presented a signed petition to the chairman of the association.

She said the petition had attracted more than 370 signatures, and stressed because there was no bus service it made it hard for teenagers, like her daughter, to get a part-time job without relying on their parents for transport.

Mrs Brown said: 'The villages are growing and there are a lot of teenagers here now. My daughter is saving for driving lessons, but can't afford those without a job.

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'It also affects elderly people as they have to call ahead to use any bus service, so can't make decisions on the day based on the weather.

'When the Acle Straight is closed the buses get diverted through Filby. If they could divert three or four of them daily then we could have a direct service that we could utilise.

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'Caister people can only get to Norwich if they go into Yarmouth. This could help them too.'

Malcom Kember, 73, who lives in Fleggburgh, said: 'When the X1 just goes down the Acle Straight, it does not get any fares as they're aren't any bus stops. If it went through Caister and other villages it could get more fares.'

Winnie Forsdick, 73, from Filby, said: 'Filby does not have one bus at all. We are just trying to get one bus an hour. If we run out of milk we can't go anywhere, we don't have any shops to go to.'

Representatives from ENTUA met with transport bosses on Wednesday who will now consider the proposals.

Tony Grice, chairman of ENTUA, said: 'Now there is the national bus pass, you can guarantee there will be a certain number of passengers.'

A spokesman for First Bus said: 'Our X1 service is scheduled to run a fast, frequent service between Norwich and Yarmouth and has proved to be really popular with customers using it.

'Presently, it would not be a viable proposition to change the X1 route as it would affect too many people.

'We are aware there are people from the villages of Flegg and Filby who would like a bus service into the Yarmouth area, but as there is not presently a provision in place at this time, it will be difficult without financial support to introduce a service that can be sustainable and commercially viable.

'We would however welcome the opportunity to discuss any proposals that can be supported to run a service between the two areas.'

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